What do you think about peacemakers? In the old west, the local sheriff was called a peacemaker. Plenty of honest, honorable, brave men were hired as sheriffs, marshals, and deputies tasked with cleaning up lawless western towns and tracking down ruthless outlaws. The job of an old west lawman was a dangerous one. Even with the law on his side, he was subject to threats, intimidation, and attempts on his life. Yet, it could also be a boring job.
Old west town sheriffs had to collect taxes, campaign for election, watch over the inmates in the town jail, and sometimes even shovel horse manure out of the streets. It was not a glamorous job!
I think most of today’s local police are peacemakers. They keep the peace by discouraging crime, and curtailing the law breakers. They assist residents who need help because of illness or accident. I don’t believe that police officers are always effective at peacemaking. Police are humans like the rest of us, and the law breakers are not always curtailable!
NOTE: The following are not my words. Rather, these thoughts on peacemaking have been gathered from various places on the internet.
Peacemakers must commit. Peacemaking is not being nice. Peacemaking may be kind, but it is not passive. It demands that we step into conflict. Peacemakers in the Bible would step between two warring parties. The peacemaker initiates reconciliation. The peacemaker is quick to repent when he has wronged others.
In a world where we have been told to avoid conflict, peacemaking takes a commitment to move toward it. Today, our points of conflict are political, racial and religious. Conventional wisdom believes we make peace by avoidance. The peacemaker knows there is no peace without healing, and there is no healing without tough conversations and work.
Where justice prevails and righteousness rules, there you will also have peace. But without those two virtues, lasting peace is not possible.
The word make in the term “peacemakers” comes from the Greek verb that means “to do.” It describes action and initiative. Someone has to force the combatants to the table and give them a reason to put down their arms. Notice Jesus did not say “Blessed are the peacewishers or the peacehopers or the peacedreamers or the peacelovers or the peacetalkers.” Peace must be made. Peace never happens by chance. A peacemaker is never passive. They always take the initiative. They are up and doing.
So when these two words are taken together, “peace” and “maker,” it describes one who actively pursues peace. The peacemaker pursues more than the absence of conflict; they don’t avoid strife (in fact, sometimes, peacemaking will create strife); they aren’t merely seeking to appease the warring parties; they aren’t trying to accommodate everyone. Instead, they are pursuing all the beauty and blessedness of God upon another. As William Barclay translates this verse, “They are people who produce right relationships in every sphere of life.”
The peacemakers must be committed to the truth. For years, some in our society denigrated the truth. They claimed there is no truth. The truth matters. Think about all that is related to peace that depends on truth. Justice, functional government, reconciliation, accountability, trust, humility and love all evaporate in the absence of the truth. To achieve true peacemaking, one must be committed to seeking and speaking the truth.
Peacemakers encourage peaceful living among others by doing such things as: Reasoning frankly with neighbors, rebuking those who persist in sin, warning those who are idle and disruptive, and discouraging people from being vindictive with one another (Leviticus 19:17; 1 Timothy 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15).
What peacemaking does not consist of is ignoring a problem and crossing our fingers that it will go away, denying that a problem exists, to begin with, or appeasing a bully. Such passive tactics may delay the inevitable for a time, but they also cause unresolved issues to grow and resentment to take root.
Profound subject, Stella. Most compelling and most aligned with my thoughts on peacemaking [or peacekeeping] is the factor of justice. Today’s police have a hopeless job with our courts tossing offenders back out on the streets. The only gratification police have is their positive community interactions! They are blessed, to be sure!
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Lovely topic and exposition, Stella. Thanks, I needed that!
In order to be a peacemaker, a person has to be at peace himself. He must have an inner core that is guided by the need for others to know that same peace Christ has promised us.
Choosing to follow Him, asking Him for forgiveness of sins (which simply means our failures, our “missing the mark” of what God desires for us and knows is best for us), repenting, swearing allegiance to Him and making every effort to never allow anything to deter us from the path we have taken–not even future failures when they come…and they WILL come.
I don’t know who said it, but it’s apt: “Peace is not in the absence of war but in not desiring it.” We humans are prone to disruption and failures and war because we are rebelling from God–running away from His perfect plan for life and wanting to do everything our own way.
Maintaining peace can be a real challenge when we’re inundated every single day by non-peaceful topics, negative news and personal happenings. But remembering our commitment and re-committing ourselves regularly, praying that God keeps us steady and gives us His grace to reject the guilt we hang onto, plus spending time in meditation on His Holy Written Word, and perhaps listening to uplifting faith music, are all available to us. To Him be the glory!
“He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him,
whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!
Trust in the Lord God always,
for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.
(Isaiah 26:3-4 – Living Bible)
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Or, Colt 45 “Peacemaker.”
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Seeing the Colt reminds me of a great story about the influence of HIGH NOON starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly (as told at Wikipedia):
“In 1989, 22-year-old Polish graphic designer Tomasz Sarnecki transformed Marian Stachurski’s 1959 Polish variant of the High Noon poster into a Solidarity election poster for the first partially free elections in communist Poland. The poster, which was displayed all over Poland, shows Cooper armed with a folded ballot saying “Wybory” (i.e., elections) in his right hand while the Solidarity logo is pinned to his vest above the sheriff’s badge. The message at the bottom of the poster reads: “W samo południe: 4 czerwca 1989”, which translates to “High Noon: 4 June 1989.”
“As former Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa wrote, in 2004, (Note: see https://web.archive.org/web/20040714082335/http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005204)
“Under the headline “At High Noon” runs the red Solidarity banner and the date—June 4, 1989—of the poll. It was a simple but effective gimmick that, at the time, was misunderstood by the Communists. They, in fact, tried to ridicule the freedom movement in Poland as an invention of the “Wild” West, especially the U.S. But the poster had the opposite impact: Cowboys in Western clothes had become a powerful symbol for Poles. Cowboys fight for justice, fight against evil, and fight for freedom, both physical and spiritual. Solidarity trounced the Communists in that election, paving the way for a democratic government in Poland. It is always so touching when people bring this poster up to me to autograph it. They have cherished it for so many years and it has become the emblem of the battle that we all fought together.”
The U.S. Dems/progs/left want us all to be like the cowardly townspeople that they can push around with no push back. Yet they are afraid of us, both collectively and individually. They aren’t interested in REAL peace, only the lack of hostilities.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
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That was a great article, Lucille. There are so many unknown [to most people] heroes, and I love discovering them. Thank you!